I’ve gone to a few guided meditation sessions at The Black Market down the street from me. Typically they play doom & drone during, but tonight the meditation was replete with crystals, sage burning, herbal teas & the attendant, unavoidable neo-hippie claptrap. The first time I went, I was able to comfortably get into a meditative state thanks to the Electric Wizard that was playing, although the guided meditative imagery of a lush garden was a bit incongruous. That same sort of imagery was present this time too, but the incongruity wasn’t there due to the change in atmosphere.
I don’t meditate to align my chakras, fill myself with light, or root my spirit into the earth. I wonder if that wellness/imagery focus is the meditation for the superstitious crowd. Nothing I’ve read or heard of in Eastern meditative practice seems so noisy. I meditate to empty myself of myself & just stay empty for a bit. The goal is to escape all intentions, not replace the ones I have or look for others. Tonight, I realized that the mental state I get into now is essentially the same one I used to end up in back when I was Catholic & engaged in deep prayer. The vigil on Maundy Thursday was always a good day to get to that empty/beginner’s mind.
Fundamentally, I don’t suppose there’s much difference between meditation and prayer.